"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create the audible sonic personality that you hear. This includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, such as the relationship between recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to get deeply into discussing the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Unofficial Service & Repair companies

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  • Unofficial Service & Repair companies

    We have recently been made aware of the existence of third-party servicing providers who will attempt to repair a damaged speaker. If the repair is to the cabinet then the results can be acceptable. However, some companies attempt to repair drive units and we strongly recommend that you take care when using non-approved parts.

    The facts are:

    1. The Harbeth 8" (200mm) woofer/midrange is made by us at the Harbeth factory from custom-made parts including the RADIAL cone, voice coil and magnet system. None of these parts are available oustide Harbeth.

    2. The tweeters are made to our design and although they may look similar to other catalogue tweeters they are significantly different. They may be more or less sensitive, have different damping characteristics, frequency response on/off axis and power handling capability.

    It is impossible to match my original design specification by using standard 'off the shelf parts'. If it were possible, we would not pay more to our suppliers for special parts when standard ones would suffice. We never issue piece parts, only complete, tested drivers as replacement units.

    Please expect that if you use a third-party service agent you will not return your speaker to the original performance.

    Please discuss your spares needs with your official Harbeth retailer or importer.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK